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Looking into backyard playsets for a now 3 year old.  Rainbow and Cedarworks seem to be the recs im getting.  What do i need to be looking for?  I know if its wood cedar is important.  Both of these companies use Cedar but Cedarworks claims theirs is better  :shrug: I think some components in Rainbow are red wood though. 

Both of the above also seem to be easy to change and grow with the kid.

Anyway, im open to other options.  But mainly looking for feedback if you have either of these companies products as well as any must haves or things i need to consider.  For example, do i need to be treating the wood to prevent critters or wear?  Also, rubber mulch worth the damage or not? 

Thanks!

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We bought a rainbow system last spring for similar aged kids. Not their entry level line (uses 2x4s) but their next step up (4x4 wood). We spent maybe $3500, I think. Can't say enough good things about it. Directions were easy to follow and set up was not bad. My kids love it.  I've read some good things about gorilla playsets but they were not able to deliver quickly. I got out rainbow system within 3 days. 

We just set it up on the grass, so can't comment on the rubber pellets. I get enough sticks and leaves in the house, last thing I want is rubber pellets. 

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You can go the cheap bastard route like me and buy a hardware kit and plans online, buy the lumber, and make one yourself. There are even no-cut plans out here that use all standard lumber sizes.

I was in for $60 in hardware and $200 in wood, but that was almost 15 years ago and I know wood is outrageous right now though.

It meant a lot to me to build it with my dad. 

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28 minutes ago, Rustoleum said:

You can go the cheap bastard route like me and buy a hardware kit and plans online, buy the lumber, and make one yourself. There are even no-cut plans out here that use all standard lumber sizes.

I was in for $60 in hardware and $200 in wood, but that was almost 15 years ago and I know wood is outrageous right now though.

It meant a lot to me to build it with my dad. 

man i wish i was this handy.  That would be pretty cool to build your own. 

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1 hour ago, FBG26 said:

We bought a rainbow system last spring for similar aged kids. Not their entry level line (uses 2x4s) but their next step up (4x4 wood). We spent maybe $3500, I think. Can't say enough good things about it. Directions were easy to follow and set up was not bad. My kids love it.  I've read some good things about gorilla playsets but they were not able to deliver quickly. I got out rainbow system within 3 days. 

We just set it up on the grass, so can't comment on the rubber pellets. I get enough sticks and leaves in the house, last thing I want is rubber pellets. 

good point on the rubber pellets.  I also wonder how those things hold up in rain or wind.  dont want rubber ending up in my neighbors yards.

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23 minutes ago, PinkydaPimp said:

man i wish i was this handy.  That would be pretty cool to build your own. 

I’m no master craftsman either, but if you can use a drill and a hammer you can build one of those no-cut kits. Tape measure and a circular saw, and you can build one requiring some simple cuts.

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Since everyone here is 46, we all sold our used sets 5 years ago.  I'd at least check Craigslist and see what's out there.

We did the lumber kit, I think from Sam's or Costco.  It was fun to build and the kids loved it for years.

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Worst investment we made for kids.  They might have used it a dozen times.  Trampoline on the other hand has been exact opposite.

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2 hours ago, FBG26 said:

We bought a rainbow system last spring for similar aged kids. Not their entry level line (uses 2x4s) but their next step up (4x4 wood). We spent maybe $3500, I think. Can't say enough good things about it. Directions were easy to follow and set up was not bad. My kids love it.  I've read some good things about gorilla playsets but they were not able to deliver quickly. I got out rainbow system within 3 days. 

We just set it up on the grass, so can't comment on the rubber pellets. I get enough sticks and leaves in the house, last thing I want is rubber pellets. 

Holy cow. For 35 racks I’d hope for an install team. 

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Personally bought the one from costco  probably 8 years ago.   It served its purpose, but eventually deteriorated.  Maybe if I took better care of it would've held up longer, but honestly it didn't really matter b/c my kids had outgrown it.    The one they have now looks even nicer and is actually cheaper.   At a little over a grand, its a tremendous value.    Unless the ages of your kids are really spread out, you're not gonna need it for more than 10 years.  At that point, you'll gladly give it away to someone if they'll do the work of removing it.  I see people doing that on facebook marketplace all the time.   

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8 hours ago, rascal said:

Worst investment we made for kids.  They might have used it a dozen times.  Trampoline on the other hand has been exact opposite.

Same experience as well.   They look really cool, but the kids just weren't interested in hanging out in it.  Trampoline still getting use even to this day with the teenager.    I have a big oak in my yard and the thing that got the most use and ironically the least cost was a tire swing.   Its attached to a branch that's probably 30 feet in the air.  Took me forever to get the rope around it, but I could really get them airborne when they were younger.   

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9 hours ago, Rustoleum said:

You can go the cheap bastard route like me and buy a hardware kit and plans online, buy the lumber, and make one yourself. There are even no-cut plans out here that use all standard lumber sizes.

I was in for $60 in hardware and $200 in wood, but that was almost 15 years ago and I know wood is outrageous right now though.

It meant a lot to me to build it with my dad. 

####### nuts.   You need to take out a home equity loan just to build a deck.  Not sure when those prices are coming down.  Have some projects I want to get to but they can wait.   

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We had one of those when the kids were young. Like somebody else said it will last a few years and then deteriorate and become unsafe but it will last them long enough to outgrow it. 
 

I tore it out a few years ago and replaced it with just a double swing set using these brackets (and the other middle one they sell to double it up. 


Then you gotta buy the swings and hardware. It adds up but it’s a commercial grade swing and it still gets some use from my teenagers. 

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9 hours ago, Nick Vermeil said:

Holy cow. For 35 racks I’d hope for an install team. 

I thought a rack was $1k, not $100. Anyway, we spent about $3500 (3 and a half racks in FBG parlance). install wasn't much more, but they were booked for installs well over two months out. These things were hot commodities early in the pandemic and we're hard to find in stock.  You weren't going to find anything on Craigslist either, at least not at a discount. 

It was actually kind of fun to build so I didn't mind. Only tools required were some socket wrenches. 

 

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3 hours ago, NutterButter said:

Same experience as well.   They look really cool, but the kids just weren't interested in hanging out in it.  Trampoline still getting use even to this day with the teenager.    I have a big oak in my yard and the thing that got the most use and ironically the least cost was a tire swing.   Its attached to a branch that's probably 30 feet in the air.  Took me forever to get the rope around it, but I could really get them airborne when they were younger.   

I can agree with this... our kids liked the playset and played with it a lot, but nowhere near as much as they played on the trampoline and tire swing.  That crazy trampoline is 16 years old now.

At 13, 17, and 19, the tire swing and the pond are the only places they still play.  The trampoline when visitors are over.

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Do not do this.  Huge waste of money and time.  Make the effort to go to parks and socialize.  My parents gave us one and it was an albatross.   Kids maybe used it 10x.  If that.  

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42 minutes ago, culdeus said:

Do not do this.  Huge waste of money and time.  Make the effort to go to parks and socialize.  My parents gave us one and it was an albatross.   Kids maybe used it 10x.  If that.  

Obviously depends on the kids, but my 3 and 1 year old use ours all the time. 

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The cash for it can be better used elsewhere, because actually going to a park is a better idea, not to mention that various stinging insects love to build nests in these.

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I have one that we got for free and I upgraded with some sawmill lumber and cedar shake shingles to make it into a fort with slides and a rock wall and swings. My kids used it all of the time and my 12 and 8 year olds still use it. It was and still is a hit. Problem is, I wish it was gone because it is the perfect spot for an in ground pool.

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thanks for the feedback.  we are going to get one regardless as we often have playdates and host.  But we do also go to parks and socialize a ton(outside of the whole covid thing) etc.  The trampoline comments are interesting and we definitely want to add one at some point as well.

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So, what’s the actual insurance hit on a trampoline vs a playset? Never had the former, and if I was supposed to tell the agent when we had a playset, that didn’t happen. And after 15ish years all that remains of the playset is a few scraps that will go into the fire pit.

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2 hours ago, PinkydaPimp said:

thanks for the feedback.  we are going to get one regardless as we often have playdates and host.  But we do also go to parks and socialize a ton(outside of the whole covid thing) etc.  The trampoline comments are interesting and we definitely want to add one at some point as well.

I would highly advise against this despite people here raving about them.

Having seen enough of these injuries, trampolines, ATVs, and fireworks won't ever be in my household.

More reading on trampolines and injuries

And more
 

 

Quote

 

Trampolines can cause serious injuries; use should be discouraged

Kali Tileston, M.D., FAAP and Ellen M. Raney, M.D., FAAP

September 10, 2019

Focus on Subspecialties

Many people consider trampolines a backyard staple along with barbecues and lounge chairs. However, the recreational use of trampolines is a relatively modern phenomenon.

Trampolines were developed in 1945 as a training tool for acrobats and gymnasts. The use of trampolines as a leisure activity has largely been driven by marketing and increased availability of inexpensive trampolines promoted for home use and exercise.

Parents are well aware of other backyard dangers such as swimming pools and take significant precautions to protect their children. However, they still unwittingly allow their children to play on trampolines.

The rates of trampoline injuries are similar to those in swimming pools, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. Between 2002 and 2011, there were over 1 million emergency department (ED) visits for trampoline injuries with the vast majority in patients younger than 17 years (Loder RT, et al. J Pediatr Orthop. 2014;34:683-690).One-third of these injuries resulted in broken bones, and one in 200 led to permanent neurologic damage.

An AAP policy statement published in 2012 and reaffirmed in 2015 states that home use of trampolines is dangerous for children and should be strongly discouraged (https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/130/4/774).  

Younger children are much more likely to sustain an injury on a trampoline, especially when bouncing with an older or larger child. These young children have the highest risk of severe injuries, including spine and lower extremity fractures. Approximately 75% of trampoline injuries occur when more than one child jumps at a time, and the smaller child is approximately 14 times as likely to be injured as the larger one (Wootton M, Harris D. Emerg Med J. 2009;26:728-731).

The cost of these injuries to the U.S. health care system is astronomical. From 2002 to 2011, the ED expense for treating these injuries was over $1 billion (Loder RT, et al. J Pediatr Orthop. 2014;34:683-690).

The rise of commercial trampoline parks has demonstrated an increased risk of orthopedic injuries as well as injuries requiring surgical intervention (Doty J, et al. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2019;27:23-31). Between 2011 and 2014, the number of ED visits from injuries sustained at trampoline parks rose more than 10-fold from 600 to almost 7,000. Injuries at trampoline parks are more likely to be musculoskeletal in nature with a higher risk of dislocations and sprains, whereas home trampolines demonstrate a higher risk of head injuries and lacerations (Kasmire KE, et al. Pediatrics. 2016;138(3):e20161236).

Trampoline park injuries have a 1.7 times higher likelihood of requiring admission to the hospital, have a longer length of stay if admission is required and are more costly to treat compared to injuries sustained at home (Kasmire KE, et al. Pediatrics. 2016;138(3):e20161236; Chen M, et al. J Paediatr Child Health. 2019;55:175-180).

However, more than 85% of injuries still happen at home. AAP policy advises pediatricians to counsel their patients and families against recreational trampoline use. If families persist in using home trampolines, pediatricians should recommend they adhere to the following guidelines:

Somersaults and flips should be discouraged. Failed attempts at these maneuvers can cause devastating cervical spine injuries, resulting in permanent disability or even death.

Only one child should be allowed on the trampoline at a time.

Never allow children to jump without supervision. The supervising adult should be willing and able to enforce the recommendations above and should never leave children unattended.

Netting and other safety equipment have not been shown to decrease trampoline-related injuries. Vigilance is necessary when using any type of trampoline, even trampolines with safety devices.

Springs should be covered with padding to avoid pinching fingers or toes and to protect against falling into the crevice between the springs.

Trampolines should be inspected regularly for tears, rust and detached springs or pads.

Keep ladders away from trampolines as they provide a mechanism for small children to get on the trampoline and jump without supervision.

Homeowners with a trampoline should verify that their homeowner’s insurance covers trampoline-related claims.

The use of trampolines as recreational structures should not be taken lightly, and parents should have an appropriate understanding of the risks. Safety precautions for trampoline use should be viewed in a similar light as those for swimming pools.

The safest option is for families to simply not have a trampoline. However, if they choose to have one, strict rules should be set and precautions followed.

Drs. Tileston and Raney are members of the AAP Section on Orthopaedics.

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Rustoleum said:

So, what’s the actual insurance hit on a trampoline vs a playset? Never had the former, and if I was supposed to tell the agent when we had a playset, that didn’t happen. And after 15ish years all that remains of the playset is a few scraps that will go into the fire pit.

I had no idea you're supposed to do this.  Is that in case some other kid gets hurt and sues you?   I wouldn't have said anything even it i had known.   

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5 hours ago, Tick said:

I can agree with this... our kids liked the playset and played with it a lot, but nowhere near as much as they played on the trampoline and tire swing.  That crazy trampoline is 16 years old now.

At 13, 17, and 19, the tire swing and the pond are the only places they still play.  The trampoline when visitors are over.

Those things hold up really well.   Its cosmetically in rough shape, but functionally, its fine.  I'll probably have that thing for my grand kids.   You'll definitely get your monies worth.  The one thing I wish I tried was to put it in the ground so the surface was level with the grass.   Not sure if it gives a better experience, but pictures I've seen look cool.   

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3 hours ago, Punxsutawney Phil said:

.Bought the cheapest one from Sam's for like $1200, saved a grand by putting it together myself.  I'd say it worth it at the time, but I am dying to get rid of it and put in a shed. 

 

Is that how much people charge to put that together?   It does take awhile (think it took me an entire weekend) but its not hard to do and there's really no rush; you can work on it at your own pace.   That might explain why some of the prices I've seen for these things are way more than the one at costco which in terms of bells and whistles looks to come with a lot.   

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2 hours ago, Rustoleum said:

So, what’s the actual insurance hit on a trampoline vs a playset? Never had the former, and if I was supposed to tell the agent when we had a playset, that didn’t happen. And after 15ish years all that remains of the playset is a few scraps that will go into the fire pit.

Never reported it.  We only allow family on it.  

The only "injury" is when my wife sprained her foot. 

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2 hours ago, gianmarco said:

I would highly advise against this despite people here raving about them.

Having seen enough of these injuries, trampolines, ATVs, and fireworks won't ever be in my household.

More reading on trampolines and injuries

And more
 

 

 

Look, everything is dangerous to some degree.  Have a swingset?  Guess what, kids try jumping out of those.  Play sports at all?  Chance of injury.  

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1 minute ago, rascal said:

Look, everything is dangerous to some degree.  Have a swingset?  Guess what, kids try jumping out of those.  Play sports at all?  Chance of injury.  

Yep.

Some things are dangerous to a higher degree. Not all things are equal. The numbers and recommendations in those links are not insignificant.

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2 hours ago, gianmarco said:

I would highly advise against this despite people here raving about them.

Having seen enough of these injuries, trampolines, ATVs, and fireworks won't ever be in my household.

More reading on trampolines and injuries

And more
 

 

 

Hmm good to know.  Are there safer ones?  Like when my friends have bouncy houses and the doors don’t shut i always cringe as I’m waiting for someone to bounce out and land in something.  But I’ve seen pretty high quality ones.  You do make a good point.  I need to ping my insurance guy now 👀

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1 hour ago, NutterButter said:

Is that how much people charge to put that together?   It does take awhile (think it took me an entire weekend) but its not hard to do and there's really no rush; you can work on it at your own pace.   That might explain why some of the prices I've seen for these things are way more than the one at costco which in terms of bells and whistles looks to come with a lot.   

The quotes I’ve seen have installation built into the cost.

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2 hours ago, Rustoleum said:

So, what’s the actual insurance hit on a trampoline vs a playset? Never had the former, and if I was supposed to tell the agent when we had a playset, that didn’t happen. And after 15ish years all that remains of the playset is a few scraps that will go into the fire pit.

None

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The good ones (rainbow / etc) are built to last 25 years. 
 

familes buy these and use them for 10 years. Buy a used one for free or for a pittance and apply a fresh coat of stain, and get another 10 years out of it. Don’t buy new - sucker move

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Fair enough on trampolines.  We have some rules in place that try to knock down the risk (no more than 2 people at a time, no flips), but kids break rules, and those rules don't stop injuries.  

This insurance site lumps pools, trampolines, and swing sets into the dangerous category.

AAP says trampolines and pools are bad.  If you use them, they recommend rules like ours (but only 1 at a time - boring).

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My kids used our playset for nearly 10 years. If I had known how much they were going to use it, I would have upgraded ours, but these things are tough to predict. 

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